The most common and frequent means of communication amongst people is spoken language.

The most commonly known languages are English and Chinese.

Is this true? What other languages do you think are commonly used besides English and Chinese?

Have you ever wondered where your spoken language stands?

Today, we will look into some of the most spoken languages with Latis Global’s, expertise in game localization.

Currently, more than 7,000 languages exist around the world, but more than half of the global population only speaks 23 of those languages.

Gathering this kind of information about spoken languages is fundamental for planning game localizations, global game releases, and stepping into the international game market.

The following image shows statistical survey results of “The Most Spoken Languages in the World 2022” from Statista.

As of 2022, the population of people who speak English as their first or second language is about 1.5 billion, which is more than that of Chinese speakers (1.1 billion). Hindi and Spanish are the third and fourth most spoken languages following English and Chinese.

(Data source: Statista)

Without further ado, let’s find out the Top 10 most spoken languages in the world.

1. English (1.5 billion speakers)

English is the universal language today, and it is commonly used in many fields such as international business, tourism, and engineering. It also has the largest pool since English is often selected as a second language in countries where English is not their first language.

If you can speak English, you will not have much trouble getting around in many countries except in Asia.

2. Chinese (Mandarin) (1.1 billion speakers)

Chinese is the second most spoken language in the world. Here is a fun fact; there are 1.4 billion Chinese people, but only 1.1 billion people speak Chinese.

Another interesting thing is that about 20% of people on the internet speak Chinese, but only 1% of the internet content is in Chinese.

3. Hindi (622 million speakers)

Hindi is one of among 22 common languages, together with English, in India. The languages there are very diverse. More than 1,600 languages coexist in this area.

Hindi is heavily influenced by Sanskrit, and the name comes from the Persian Hindi. When translated literally, the term Hindi means “Land of the Indus River”.

Also, if you are an English speaker, you probably are familiar with some loan words from Hindi. For instance, words such as yoga, jungle, karma, cheetah, and avatar are all borrowed from Hindi.

4. Spanish (548.3 million speakers)

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world in terms of its native speaker population pool. It is also, the most spoken Romance language, and it is the third most spoken language on the internet.

Spain had one of the most active colonization periods in history. Spain expanded its territories in Europe and the Americas and prospered as a vast empire. The USA has become the second largest Spanish-speaking population pool due to immigration.

5. French (274.1 million speakers)

The French speaking population has increased around the globe with colonization. French is an official language in 29 countries on several different continents.

If English is the language of business, French is considered the language of culture. Its enormous importance is also reflected in the fact that it is the third largest language of non-native speakers.

6. Arabic (274 million speakers)

Arabic is the official language of 26 countries. It is also the liturgical language of Islam.

It is not only the language that carries the enormous cultural legacy of the Arab world, but also a necessary tool for the field of business in that region of the world.

7. Bengali (272.2 million speakers)

Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh. In addition, people speak it in some areas of India and Burma. It may come as a surprise that a language spoken in such a small territory appears in a list of the most spoken languages in the world. However, it makes sense when you think about the population density of that region.

8. Russian (258.2 million speakers)

Less surprising is the inclusion of Russian among the most widely spoken languages, if we think about Russian history and territories. It is the official language of 4 countries, but people also speak it in most parts of the former Soviet Union. It is the language with the largest number of native speakers in all of Europe, and holds its significance in business perspectives.

9. Portuguese (257.7 million speakers)

Portuguese is another of the languages that expanded in the European colonial period. Today it is the official language of 9 countries divided between Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. Brazil is the largest country out of those 9 countries and has the highest number of Portuguese speakers. In addition, it is the most widely spoken language in the southern hemisphere.

10. Urdu (231.3 million speakers)

Urdu is a common language spoken in Pakistan and has a lot of similarities to Hindi. It is known as one of the most beautiful and elaborate languages in the world. Urdu is probably the most important language in Southern Asia. The Southern Asian market is growing fast and becoming a profitable market with relatable content on the internet.

Ending Note

As previously mentioned, there are more than 7,100 languages spoken around the world today. Each and every one makes the world a more diverse and beautiful place. In addition to video game information, Latis Global shares informative news about the video game industry on regular basis. Stay tuned for more updates!